OCR A2 Health Studies

Includes ALL Health Studies from the OCR Syllabus 

Detailed Background, Study to support and Conclusion for each study

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Theories of Health Belief- The Health Belief Model
The HBM was developed by Becker in the 1970's. According to the HBM, people's health behaviour
is based on two cognitive assessments: perception of the threat and cost benefit analysis. There
are also two factors that influence thinking: cues for action and demographic variables. The HBM is
a framework for motivating people to take positive health actions that uses the desire to avoid
negative health consequences as the prime motivation.
This is the perceived seriousness and vulnerability of the threat "will it actually kill me" "how likely am
I to get it"
This is where we assess whether the benefits from behavioural change outweigh the costs. This
could be factors like: time, money, pleasure, etc.
This is when you either start to experience a psychical symptom or have personal experience of
someone with a condition- These are known as INTERNAL CUES
Cue's can even be triggered by media and health campaigns ­ These are known as EXTERNAL CUES
These are known as social factors such as age, gender, ethnicity, that can influence health behaviour
Study to Support HBM- Bulpit (1988)
Bulpits looked at treatments for hypertension and found that the side effects could cause sexual
AIM: To review research on adherence in hypertensive patients
METHOD: Review article of research into problems with taking drugs for high blood pressure
PROCEDURE: Research was analysed to identify the physical and psychological effects of drug
treatment on a person's life. These included work, physical well being, hobbies, etc.
FINDINGS: Anti-hypertension medication can have many side effects, including psychical reactions such
as sleepiness, dizziness and lack of sexual functioning. They also affect cognitive functioning.
CONCLUSION: People may not adhere to medicine because they evaluate the perceived seriousness of
the threat and then do a cost benefit analysis, which results them making a rational discoing that the
costs of the medication outweigh the benefits therefore they do not adhere to their medical
regimen. When the costs outweigh the benefits there is less likelihood of the patient adhering to
medical treatment. The study supports the HBM.

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Theories of Health Belief- LOCUS OF CONTROL
Locus of control refers to where people think that factors that influence their behaviour are
An EXTERNAL locus of control is where people interpret the consequences of their behaviour to
be controlled by luck, fate or powerful others.
An INTERNAL locus of control is where people think that events and patterns in their lives are due
to their own behaviour and personality characteristics.…read more

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Theories of Health Belief- SELF EFFICACY
The concept of self efficacy was developed by Bandura in 1986 from the concept of an internal
locus of control.
Self efficacy is a belief that we can perform effectively in a particular situation, with our sense of
capability influencing our perception, motivation and performance.
Bandura argued that the self efficacy beliefs which people hold about their own capabilities
directly affect how much effort they are prepared to put into achieving things.…read more

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Methods of Health Promotion ­ Media Campaign
Media campaigns are widely used to change health attitudes and behaviour, yet there
effectiveness is limited
In recent years there have been campaigns on smoking, drink driving, sexual behaviour and
healthy eating.…read more

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Methods of Health Promotion ­ Legislation
Legislation is used to change health attitudes and behaviours
For example a legislation act was put forward to improve health in 1997, this was by banning
smoking in all enclosed public places
Furthermore, in 2007 the legal age for buying cigarettes increased to 18
Legislation has been used to control many more health behaviours such as drink driving, but the
effectiveness of enforcing laws to change certain health behaviours can be questioned
The study to…read more

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Methods of Health Promotion ­ Fear Arousal
Fear arousal is often used in health promotion as a way to scare people about the consequences
of bad health behaviour
However, early studies have shown than fear arousal is not actually effective in making an
individual change their bad health habits
For example, in 1921 Lashley & Watson looked at the impact of a film which showed the
devastating effects of having sex with prostitutes and developing VD
They found that 70% of those who watched…read more

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Reasons for Non Adherence ­ Cognitive
Non adherence refers to patients who do not take their medicine or follow medical advice
There may be many reasons as to why a patient does not adhere to their medical regimen, such
as the side effects of treatment, not seeing any improvement from their treatment or simply
forgetting to take their medication.…read more

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Measure of Non Adherence
Non adherence refers to patients who do not take their medicine or follow medical advice
It is hard to find out whether patients actually adhere to their medication, for example self report
questionnaires have the issue of demand characteristics leading to a patient exaggerating their
compliance to treatment.…read more

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Improving Non Adherence
Non adherence refers to patients who do not take their medicine or follow medical advice
Non adherence can be improved by using behaviourist methods such as classical conditioning
(Pavlov) and operant conditioning (Skinner)
Making a medical regime more fun (reinforcement) or associating the treatment with something
positive (association) may allow for better adherence to medication
A study by Watt et al in 2003 showed an improved adherence to treatment for asthmatic
The aim of the study was…read more

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Diagnosis of Dysfunctional Behaviour ­ Biases in Diagnosis
Some groups of people are more likely to be diagnosed with a mental health illness than others.
It could be depending on ethnicity or gender, which could cause you to be falsely diagnosed with a
For example, African Caribbean's are three times more likely than whites and Asians to be diagnosed
with a mental disorder.…read more




but no evaluation though

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